18 February, 2011

Preparing for The GBBC Part III: Wooden birds

Whoo whoo!  Whoo loves Holztiger birds?

I do, I do!  They are so gorgeous, smooth to the touch, and warm in your hand.  Unfortunately they are also between $8 and $10 each, so purchasing more than one or two of them would be prohibitively expensive for me.  So the other day I set to work, creating my own set of wooden birds.  I wanted them to be good and cheap, so I knew they wouldn't be fast.  (Remember that triangle?)  But that was a-okay with me.

I trekked over to the scene shop where my husband works, and picked through their scrap wood bin.  After selecting my scraps, I used the scroll saw to cut out some bird shapes.  (The wood in the bin was pine, and although I would prefer to use a harder wood next time, the pine worked out well that day especially since it was only my second time using a scroll saw.)  I confess I used pictures of the Holztiger birds as templates, but as I said, I just love them.  Also, I have been thinking about them for so long and trying to figure out how to afford them, I just couldn't imagine using any other designs.  I selected bird species that my students may see from our classroom window: sparrows, robins, mourning doves, and crows.  I also made an owl as I have recently seen one in my yard, only about a mile from our school, and a chicken.  

Next I sanded all the birds, marked them with a wood burner, and painted them using some German water color paints.  I sanded them again and (all your Waldorf educators may want to avert your eyes here) sealed them with Mod Podge.  I would definitely have preferred to use a natural sealer, but I don't have any at the moment, and pine is so soft.  Mod Podge gives it a little more strength and durability - which turned out to be a good thing today as a couple of the birds had a quick swim in our water table!  Ooops!

I also began work on a felt play mat - for the birds and other woodland creatures.  It has a little pond with stepping stones, and a little cave where the birds can take shelter from sudden rain storms.  You can see with the birds in the picture above, and below on its own.  I was curious to see how the children would take to it as we have never had any kind of play mats in our room before.  They seemed to really enjoy playing with it, and especially enjoyed sheltering the birds in the cave!

And even though the GBBC began today, I still have a a few more preparatory posts for you.  If you are feeling bird-ish, please check them out!

Thank you, and happy bird watching and counting!

1 comment:

  1. wow!!! i am so impressed with your talent and initiative!! i have been wanting to venture into making wooden toys. i have a dremel and a wood burner, just need a scroll saw. i just found a place where i can go use one by the hour though!

    thanks for stopping by my blog. YOU can most assuredly tackle wet felting, my dear. ;) i do not enjoy wet felting round objects, but flat i love.

    we once did a large playmat in my daughter's kindy class. the gal facilitating used an extra large plastic ziploc (like used for blanket storage and such). the children all got to step on it to felt it and had such fun with it!

    off to explore your blog some more....


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